Industrial competitiveness as ‘societal challenge’? Ensuring accountability and societal impact in Horizon Europe

CSO reaction to the Commission’s FP9 proposal

Full reaction here

Brussels, 7 June

The European Commission proposal for a regulation establishing the Union’s ninth research and innovation (R&I) framework programme Horizon Europe, suggests to include “industrial competitiveness” in the objectives and name of the future 2nd pillar “global challenges”. This would be a serious mistake.

Public investments must generate public returns. Publically funded R&I should thus balance its focus between scientific excellence, economic and societal impact. Industry is a key partner also in delivering societal impact, but merging and blurring profit-oriented objectives with societal impact-oriented objectives risks limiting the already-scarce funding available for addressing societal challenges, endangers a needs-based R&I agenda, threatens the traceability of public funding needed to monitor public return on public investments and risks further excluding citizens and civil society from R&I.

As Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) we therefore urge Member States and the European Parliament to secure an Independent pillar for global challenges

  • Whose objectives and priority setting focus solely on addressing societal challenges, guided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement, acknowledging that excellent R&I in this area will create quality jobs and has a significant economic return, in and of itself, and without adding “industrial competitiveness” to the programme pillar;
  • That is co-programmed with citizens and civil society, acknowledging them as key stakeholders in identifying and addressing societal challenges and ensuring a needs-based R&I priority setting. In particular, a roadmap is urgently needed on how Horizon Europe will overcome barriers to CSO and citizens engagement;
  • Assesses project proposals based primarily on their potential to deliver on societal challenges; and measures performance based on adequate societal impact indicators that focus on the progress towards the realisation of the SDGs;
  • Focusses on delivering sustainable alternatives to our current high growth, high consumption models and safe, effective, affordable and accessible R&I solutions to improve people’s lives and well-being.

To ensure public return on investment and accountability, all future pillars and programme parts of Horizon Europe – including European Partnerships – need to include adequate safeguards that mainstream sustainable development, define and monitor societal impact, apply strict ethical standards, guarantee open access to research results, promote open access to research data (with strict criteria for derogations), make the programme as transparent and participatory as possible, and report on the participation of CSOs in not just the implementation but also the programming and monitoring of programme activities.

EU set to downgrade political ambition on health of EU citizens

Brussels – 30 May

The EU Civil Society Forum on HIV, TB and Hepatitis, gathering leading civil society organisations at the national and regional level in the EU and neighbouring countries, welcomes with caution the merging of the EU Health Programme into an enlarged European Social Fund+.

While the will to address socio-economic determinants of health by the creation of synergies within programmes is a positive move, a new governance structure is a concern, as it may represent a loss of political leadership and further downgrade the importance of health from a Health Programme to a Health Strand. We can rightly ask ourselves whether we are going to lose the post of Commissioner for Health in the next EU MFF.

Strong leadership on health is expected and will resonate well with European citizens. 70% of Europeans want the EU to do more for health and social issues. Europe, with its longer term of office and regional convening power, can do more than any national government to turn that around and leave a healthy legacy for its future generations.

We deplore the proposed 8% cut in health funding compared to the 2014-2020 period. Investing in people in a social Europe needs a reinforced health programme with increased long-term funding, capable of delivering pan European projects with regional added value such as in the field of infectious diseases, contributing to the reduction of health inequalities in the Union, and ensuring an adequate European response to major health concerns. However, at the current pace Europe will not be reaching the SDG goals on HIV, TB and Hepatitis by 2030.

The EU needs to safeguard its rights-based approach to health in the next EU MFF, as well as provide the adequate financial and technical means to ensure a sustainable regional response to the fight against HIV, AIDS, TB and Hepatitis in Europe. EU action on cross-border health threats should not limit itself to responding to crisis, as is suggested by the regulation’s operation objectives in Health.

The emphasis on curbing health inequalities and reinforcing the sustainability of our health systems, especially at the community level for the most vulnerable is key. Cooperation with civil society organisations in this regard should continue to be the norm while we strive to make more progress towards Agenda 2030.

Lutte contre les pandémies : les associations saluent la décision de la France d’accueillir la conférence de reconstitution des ressources du Fonds mondial

(Paris, le 16 mai 2018) Nos associations se félicitent que la France ait décidé d’accueillir la 6ème conférence de reconstitution du Fonds mondial de lutte contre le sida, la tuberculose et le paludisme en 2019 annoncée dans un communiqué de presse de l’Élysée le 16 mai 2018.

Nos ONG saluent cette annonce très attendue qui réaffirme l’engagement de la France en matière de lutte contre les grandes pandémies. En 2016, le VIH-sida, la tuberculose et le paludisme ont infecté, à elles trois, plus de 228 millions de personnes et causé la mort de 3 millions d’entre elles.

En tant que deuxième contributrice historique du Fonds mondial, la France a contribué à sauver 22 millions de vies depuis 2002. Maintenant, elle a le devoir de faire de cette conférence un succès pour respecter l’engagement international de mettre fin au sida, à la tuberculose et au paludisme d’ici 2030.

Avec la présidence du G7, la France aura les clés en main pour garantir le succès de cette conférence de reconstitution du Fonds mais aussi pour faire de 2019 une année d’engagement politique et financier en faveur de l’aide publique au développement et de la santé mondiale. Dans l’esprit partenarial du Fonds mondial, nos ONG appellent le gouvernement à travailler en collaboration avec la société civile française à ce succès.


Contact Presse :

Action Santé Mondiale – Margot Jaymond / 06 64 80 05 72

Oxfam France – Caroline Prak / 06 31 25 94 74

Sidaction –  Marine Charlier / 01 53 26 45 36

Solidarité Sida – Gautier Centlivre / 07 70 00 28 81

ONE – Charlotte Grignard / 06 22 41 00 41


Notes aux éditeurs :

  • En 2016,
    • 1,8 millions de personnes ont été infectées par le VIH et 1 million de personnes sont décédés du sida. Sur les 36,7 millions de personnes vivant avec le VIH, seules 20 millions bénéficient d’un traitement antirétroviral dont 11 millions grâce aux programmes financés par le Fonds mondial.
    • 10,4 millions de nouveaux cas de tuberculose ont été constatés et 1,7 millions de personnes en sont décédés.
    • 216 millions de cas et 445 000 décès dus au paludisme ont été constatés, dont environ 90 pour cent en Afrique subsaharienne. Le paludisme est présent dans 91 pays.
  • Créé en 2002, le Fonds mondial est un partenariat entre les gouvernements, la société civile, le secteur privé et les personnes touchées par les maladies investissant l’argent de ses donateurs dans des programmes locaux dans le but d’accélérer la fin des trois pandémies. La conférence de reconstitution permettra au Fonds mondial de lever des ressources pour son prochain cycle de trois ans en 2020-2022.

Civil society reaction to leaked proposal for next EU research programme

Civil society has published a reaction to the leaked impact assessment of the next EU Research Framework Programme (FP9) and the European Commission’s proposal to merge of parts of Horizon 2020 Pillar II with Pillar III into one pillar “Global Challenges”.

The next programme will build on the current programme Horizon 2020, which include three pillars focused respectively on excellent science, industrial competitiveness and societal challenges. According to a leaked impact assessment the new second pillar “will integrate the Horizon 2020 Societal Challenges and Leadership in Enabling Industrial technologies parts to better address EU policy priorities (including meeting the SDGs) and support industrial competitiveness”.

Societal impact has been found to be insufficient in Horizon 2020, and civil society is concerned the situation could worsen in the next programme if the objective of addressing societal or global challenges is diluted by adding the objective of industrial competitiveness to the same pillar.

Jill McArdle, Advocacy Officer at Global Health Advocates, said:

we are very concerned about the suggested merging of aspects of the Industrial Leadership pillar with the Societal Challenges pillar of Horizon 2020. An independent pillar focused on societal challenges is vital to achieving societal impact. This pillar should be clearly designed around the Sustainable Development Goals, otherwise we run the risk that Agenda 2030 will be subordinated to other EU policy objectives in the next framework programme.”

While industry has a role to play in addressing societal challenges, it is vital that addressing societal challenges and delivering societal impact remains the main objective of this pillar. Dedicated and ambitious funding, is needed in FP9 if the EU is serious about societal impact and delivering on international commitments such as the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement.

Engaging citizens and civil society in defining FP9’s missions and maximising societal impact

There is wide recognition that engagement of civil society organisations and citizens has been suboptimal in defining research and innovation (R&I) priorities in Horizon 2020 and in previous EU Research Framework Programmes. Given the increasing importance of communicating, connecting and engaging with European citizens and civil society on the definition of research priorities, this brief proposes a two-pronged approach, which engages citizens and civil society in defining FP9’s structure and missions ahead of the Commission proposal.

Firstly, we propose a number of Citizens​ ​Conventions​, an innovative process of decision making to co-create FP9’s missions with society. Within this process, citizens are trusted to apprehend complex topics and to propose missions corresponding to societal challenges that respond to the current and future needs of society.

Secondly, we propose the creation of a Civil​ ​Society​ ​High​ ​Level​ ​Group​ on maximising the societal impact of R&I. By definition, the priorities of the societal challenges pillar of Horizon 2020 should be defined in large part by society, yet in practice there is very little involvement of civil society.

Through more inclusive and participative governance structures, EU research programmes can address the multi-faceted aspects of major societal challenges and offer solutions that provide concrete societal benefits. Neither proposal is a one shot process: both should continuously inform and be engaged during the implementation of the next FP9.






Détournement de Fonds ? L’aide européenne pour freiner la migration

CoverAction Santé Mondiale revient du Niger et du Sénégal où nous avons rencontré une large palette d’acteurs du développement avec lesquels nous nous sommes entretenus du lancement et de la mise en œuvre du Fonds fiduciaire d’urgence pour l’Afrique (FFU).

Le FFU donne un exemple de première main de l’instrumentalisation de l’aide publique au développement en vue de répondre à des objectifs de politique intérieure européenne.


Notre rapport démontre que le FFU est inefficace tant sur le plan politique que sur le plan du développement.

D’un point de vue politique, la recherche académique montre que l’objectif sous-jacent au FFU, à savoir que le développement mettra un terme à la migration, ne peut pas être atteint. Les experts du développement le savent, ce qui suggère qu’ils n’ont pas été suffisamment impliqués dans la conception du FFU. Plus largement, le FFU montre que l’UE a adopté une stratégie politique à court terme en privilégiant des solutions de facilité plutôt que des programmes durables de développement.

Du point de vue du développement, la capacité du FFU à peser véritablement sur la pauvreté est sérieusement remise en question. Cet instrument a été lancé pour des
raisons politiques : il ne répondait pas à des impératifs de développement dans les pays partenaires mais plutôt à ce que l’UE a vécu comme une urgence sur son propre territoire. De plus, bien qu’il soit essentiellement financé par l’APD, cet instrument n’a pas intégré les principes d’efficacité de l’aide dans sa stratégie. En d’autres termes, la justification de ce que l’UE a présenté comme un outil de développement ne sont ni les politiques ni les besoins en matière développement des pays partenaires.

Cartoon_Misplaced TrustLa programmation du FFU était guidée par les perspectives migratoires vers l’Europe et non l’élimination de la pauvreté. Cela signifie que les régions dont les migrants
sont originaires ou par lesquelles ils transitent sont priorisées au détriment des régions où les besoins sont les plus importants. Cela signifie aussi que les plus pauvres ne sont plus la priorité de l’aide européenne. De plus, l’utilisation de l’APD à des fins sécuritaires et de contrôle migratoire détourne l’aide de ses missions premières. Enfin, la communication et la visibilité ont été posées comme des principes clés du FFU dans un contexte hautement politique. À son lancement, la recherche d’impacts visibles à court terme a pris le pas sur une programmation cohérente dans la durée. Des revers ont par conséquent été enregistrés, à l’image de ce qu’il se passe au nord du Niger où la répression contre les passeurs a été organisée bien avant la mise en place d’alternatives économiques visant à compenser la perte de revenus.

Finalement, l’instrumentalisation de l’APD risque de marginaliser cette dernière en la réduisant à un objet de marchandage politique, ce qui érode la réputation de l’UE en tant qu’acteur important du développement et son partenariat avec l’Afrique.

Il nous parait dès lors essentiel que l’UE et ses Etats membres soutiennent et promeuvent un discours plus nuancé sur la migration et la mobilité et mettent fin à l’instrumentalisation de l’aide. Nous les appelons également à refonder le lien migration-développement autour de faits probants sur les bénéfices de la mobilité pour le développement et d’un partenariat d’égal à égal avec les pays africains, et en y intégrant les principes d’efficacité de l’aide.

Réaction des ONG au Projet de Loi de Finances : Un budget décevant pour la solidarité internationale

Paris, le 27 septembre 2017 – Communiqué de presse d’Action contre la Faim, Action Santé Mondiale, ONE, Oxfam France et Réseau Action Climat

Le Projet de Loi de Finances 2018 présenté aujourd’hui en Conseil des ministres annonce une enveloppe budgétaire de 2,7 milliards d’euros pour la mission aide publique au développement (APD) et le maintien de 1 milliard d’euros pour les taxes affectées. Cela représente une hausse d’à peine 100 millions d’euros pour la mission Aide publique au développement, soit 3,5 % d’augmentation par rapport à l’année dernière.

Cette hausse, inférieure à celle de l’année dernière, est bien trop marginale pour que la France honore le plus rapidement possible son engagement pris en 1970 de consacrer 0,7 % de sa richesse nationale à l’aide internationale. [1]

Le PLF 2018 ne prévoit pas non plus d’allouer 100 % des revenus de la taxe sur les transactions financières au développement, en contradiction totale avec l’ambition européenne affichée par Emmanuel Macron hier. Pire encore, ces annonces signifient que le gouvernement décide de revenir sur une des mesures les plus ambitieuses de la taxe sur les transactions financières votées par le Parlement l’année dernière: celle de taxer les opérations intra-journalières dès le 1er janvier 2018. Il renonce ainsi à des recettes s’élevant de 2 à 4 milliards d’euros par an.

Pour les ONG françaises de solidarité internationale et de lutte contre le changement climatique, Action contre la faim, Action Santé Mondiale, ONE, OXFAM, Réseau Action Climat :

« Alors qu’Emmanuel Macron a réaffirmé que la France devait être au rendez-vous de la lutte contre la pauvreté et le changement climatique, ce premier projet de loi de Finances est on ne peut plus décevant. »

 La trajectoire proposée dans le PLF 2018 pour la mission Aide publique au développement est 3,1 milliards d’euros en 2020 et le maintien des taxes affectées à 1 milliard d’euros.

 « Cette trajectoire budgétaire permettrait tout juste de rattraper le niveau de 2013. Nous sommes bien loin d’une trajectoire crédible pour tenir l’engagement du Président d’allouer 0,55% de la richesse nationale à l’aide au développement et encore moins de l’engagement international de la France d’atteindre 0,7%. »

 « Nombreux sont nos voisins européens à avoir atteint l’objectif des 0,7 % en quelques années comme le Royaume Uni ou l’Allemagne. Ceci passe par des efforts budgétaires substantiels chaque année et une véritable volonté politique. L’urgence est là. Les millions de déplacés climatiques, de victimes de la faim et les populations sans accès aux soins ou à l’éducation ne peuvent pas attendre. » [2]

Les ONG en appellent maintenant aux parlementaires pour permettre à la France de tenir ses engagements en mobilisant tous les moyens à leur disposition, en particulier à travers des financements innovants.

« Une ressource reste encore sous-exploitée par le gouvernement : la taxe sur les transactions financières. En affectant l’intégralité de ses revenus à l’aide au développement et à la lutte contre le changement climatique, comme le Président souhaite le faire à l’échelle européenne, les députés pourraient grandement changer la donne pour les pays les plus pauvres. Il est aussi urgent de maintenir la taxation des transactions intra-journalières dès le 1er janvier 2018 et d’augmenter le taux de la TTF française à 0,5%, comme c’est déjà le cas au Royaume Uni. Alors que la France est à la traîne, le Parlement doit absolument rectifier le tir et s’engager pour la solidarité avec les pays les plus pauvres. Aux députés de saisir maintenant ces opportunités qui s’offrent à eux ! »

Contact presse :

Action Santé Mondiale : Claire Baudot – 01 80 48 91 26 / 07 81 31 03 66

ONE : Annabel Hervieu – 06 31 22 89 68

Oxfam France: Marion Wintergerst – 01 56 98 29 70 / 06 31 25 94 74

Notes aux rédactions :

  1. En 1970, la France s’est engagée devant les Nations unies à allouer 0,7 % de son revenu national brut à l’aide publique au développement et elle a inscrit cet engagement dans la loi française en 2014.
  1. La France a en effet annoncé récemment qu’elle organisera une conférence sur le financement de la lutte contre le changement climatique en décembre prochain et co-parrainera la conférence de reconstitution du Partenariat Mondial pour l’Education en février 2018.  Dans son discours à l’AGNU, le président de la République a également annoncé que la santé (la lutte contre les grandes pandémies et la malnutrition) et l’éducation seront les deux priorités françaises en matière d’APD.

L’Unione Europea dirotta gli aiuti allo sviluppo per bloccare i flussi migratori

Cartoon_Misplaced TrustBruxelles, 11 settembre. In occasione della riunione dei ministri europei dello sviluppo in Estonia l’11 settembre, un nuovo rapporto della ONG Global Health Advocates dimostra come l’attuale strumentalizzazione degli aiuti allo sviluppo dell’Unione Europea per arrestare i flussi migratori rappresenti una strategia destinata a fallire.

Gli aiuti allo sviluppo hanno l’obiettivo di finanziare programmi a lungo termine per sradicare la povertà,  in linea con le priorità di sviluppo dei paesi partner. Tuttavia, il Fondo Finduciario d’Emergenza dell’UE per l’Africa, uno strumento piuttosto recente lanciato in modo affrettato dall’Unione Europea con un budget di quasi 3 miliardi di Euro in aiuti allo sviluppo, fa esattamente il contrario: privilegia soluzioni rapide a problematiche nazionali europee, senza un reale coinvolgimento dei governi locali e della società civile in Africa.

Il rapporto, frutto di interviste condotte in Senegal e Niger, mette in luce come il Fondo Fiduciario sia basato su una strategia viziata ed un processo poco trasparente, che contraddice i principi di buona governance: nessun bando pubblico per l’assegnazione dei fondi, nessuna consultazione con gli attori locali, priorità data a progetti a breve termine, sviluppo di strategie retroattive quando ormai la maggior parte dei fondi è già stata assegnata.

Fanny Voitzwinkler, responsabile per l’UE della ONG Global Health Advocates, dichiara: “Chiunque abbiamo incontrato a Niamey e Dakar concorda: il Fondo Fiduciario dell’UE rappresenta innanzitutto uno strumento di comunicazione politica per mostrare ai cittadini che l’Unione Europea sta rispondendo rapidamente alla cosiddetta ‘crisi migratoria’. Usando i soldi degli aiuti allo sviluppo come merce di scambio per forzare la collaborazione dei paesi africani sulle questioni migratorie, l’UE sta macchiando la propria immagine di attore di primo piano delle politiche di cooperazione e sviluppo”.

Oltre all’uso discutibile degli aiuti allo sviluppo per rispondere a quella che in Europa è considerata come un’emergenza politica, l’Unione Europea sta in pratica appaltando il controllo dei flussi migratori a paesi quali la Libia ed il Niger, per impedire ai migranti di lasciare le coste settentrionali dell’Africa. Ancora più preoccupante è il fatto che alcuni paesi hanno per queste ragioni aumentato il proprio bilancio per la sicurezza e la difesa, a discapito di investimenti in settori chiave come istruzione e salute.

La ONG Global Health Advocates mette anche in guardia contro possibili conseguenze negative che le politiche europee per il controllo della migrazione potrebbero provocare. Le misure repressive per contenere i flussi migratori, già messe in atto,  stanno mettendo in ginocchio l’economia locale della regione di Agadez, in Niger, senza fornire valide alternative, in un contesto già piuttosto instabile. La volontà dell’Unione Europea di bloccare rapidamente i flussi migratori illegali ha prevalso sulla ricerca attenta di soluzioni sostenibili per la popolazione locale.

La depuata europea Elly Schlein, membro della Commissione Sviluppo del Parlamento Europeo, dichiara: “È molto preoccupante l’attuale strategia di utilizzo degli aiuti allo sviluppo per arrestare i flussi migratori irregolari verso l’Europa, con insufficiente potere di controllo da parte del Parlamento Europeo. Gli aiuti saranno sempre più diretti verso paesi e regioni che si trovano sulle rotte migratorie verso l’Europa, a discapito di altri paesi più poveri. Secondo i trattati, gli aiuti devono essere finalizzati allo sradicamento della povertà. Costruire muri in Africa non diminuisce povertà e diseguaglianze, ma le aumenta.“

Global Health Advocates esorta l’Unione Europea a slegare il dialogo politico sulle migrazioni dalle proprie politiche di sviluppo, riconoscendo che la migrazione rappresenta un motore chiave per lo sviluppo. L’UE dovrebbe adottare e promuovere una politica più sfumata sulle questioni migratorie e della mobilità, basata sui fatti, in linea con i principi fondatori dell’Europa come tolleranza, solidarietà e rispetto.

Fanny Voitzwinkler dichiara infine: “Se il Fondo Fiduciario non verrà rimesso in discussione, per riflettere un rapporto genuino di partnership tra l’UE ed i paesi africani, con l’adozione di politiche che riconoscano l’impatto positivo della migrazione sullo sviluppo, l’Unione Europea dovrebbe smettere di finanziarlo.“


Note per i redattori:

Per informazioni e interviste: Gian Marco Grindatto  +32 498 116879

A proposito del rapporto:

  • Il rapporto “Misplaced Trust: diverting EU aid to stop migration. The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa” è il risultato di oltre 40 interviste condotte da Global Health Advocates nella primavera del 2017 a Bruxelles, così come in Niger ed in Senegal – entrambi considerati paesi prioritari nell’ambito del nuovo quadro europeo di partenariato sulla migrazione. Il rapporto analizza l’impatto del Fondo Fiduciario d’Emergenza dell’UE per l’Africa in Senegal e Niger e le potenziali conseguenze che questo strumento potrebbe avere sulle politiche di sviluppo europee.
  • L’elenco dei partner intervistati si trova in Allegato al rapporto e comprende: rappresentanti delle istituzioni UE, ONG, società civile, agenzie delle Nazioni Unite, autorità locali in Senegal e Niger, agenzie di sviluppo dei paesi dell’UE.

Messaggi chiave del rapporto:

  • Il Fondo Fiduciario dell’UE si basa su una contraddizione di partenza: viene presentato dalla Commissione Europea sia come strumento di sviluppo che di emergenza, mirando tuttavia a fornire risultati a breve termine, attingendo principalmente a fondi originariamente dedicati allo sradicamento della povertà con programmazione di lungo periodo.
  • Nonostante la maggior parte delle risorse destinate al Fondo Fiduciario sia costituita da Aiuto Pubblico allo Sviluppo (APS), il Fondo non rispetta pienamente i principi di efficacia degli aiuti: i programmi attuati non sono sempre allineati alle priorità di sviluppo dei paesi partner. Questo mette in discussione l’efficacia e l’impatto dei programmi.
  • Il Fondo Fiduciario impatta in modo negativo sulla qualità del partenariato Africa-UE. I leader dell’UE utilizzano la politica del ‘bastone e della carota’ con i partner africani, utilizzando gli aiuti allo sviluppo per forzare la loro cooperazione sulla gestione dei flussi migratori. Il partenariato Africa-UE dovrebbe essere un rapporto tra pari: non è questo il caso del Fondo Fiduciario.

Chi siamo:

Global Health Advocates è una ONG che si occupa di lotta contro le malattie derivanti dalla povertà e dalla disuguaglianza. La sua missione è quella di promuovere politiche di sviluppo che garantiscano un accesso universale alle cure, mobilitare risorse per affrontare crisi sanitarie e per rafforzare i sistemi sanitari di base. Ha uffici a Parigi e Bruxelles, dove porta avanti attività di sensibilizzazione verso il governo francesce e l’Unione Europea.

Diverting EU aid to stop migrants

Cartoon_Misplaced TrustBrussels, 11 September Ahead of Europe’s development ministers meeting in Estonia on 11 September, Global Health Advocates research in Senegal and Niger shows that EU development aid is misused and diverted through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

Development aid is meant to fund long-term programmes aimed at the eradication of poverty in line with partner countries’ own development priorities. However, the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa – a rather new instrument launched hastily by the EU and backed with close to €3 billion in development funds – does exactly the opposite: it prioritises quick fixes driven by Europe’s short-term domestic priorities, with little involvement of local governments let alone civil society actors.

Findings from the report published today reveal untransparent processes in-country, bypassing most good governance principles. No public calls for proposals, no consultation of local actors, no eligibility guidelines, prioritisation of short term projects and the development of retroactive strategies once most funds are disbursed.

Fanny Voitzwinkler, Head of the EU Office of Global Health Advocates, says: “Everyone we met in Niamey and Dakar agreed: the EU Trust Fund is first-and-foremost a political communication tool to show citizens the EU is responding fast to the so-called ‘migration crisis‘. Using development aid money as a bargaining chip to leverage African countries’ cooperation on migration tarnishes the image of the EU as a global development actor.”

Beyond the questionable use of development funds to address what is considered a political emergency in Europe, the EU is literally outsourcing the control of migration to countries such as Libya and Niger, to ensure migrants are no longer able to leave the northern shores of the African continent. Most concerning is that some countries have de facto boosted their domestic security spending over basic social services like health and education.

The NGO also warns against possible spill over-effects of the EU-driven effort to reduce migratory pressure to Europe. Repressive measures to curb migration are depriving communities of economic opportunities in the Agadez region of Niger without providing viable alternatives in already unstable environments. The EU’s eagerness to rapidly stem migration flows has taken precedence over seeking sustainable solutions for the local population.

Global Health Advocates is urging the EU to delink its political dialogue on migration from its development agenda, acknowledging that migration is a positive driver of development. In the spirit of European’s core founding values of tolerance, solidarity and respect for human dignity, the EU should actively support and promote a more nuanced narrative on migration and mobility, anchored in facts and reality.

Ms. Voitzwinkler concludes: “If the EU Trust Fund is not realigned to reflect a genuine partnership between the EU and African countries, promoting policies that can foster a positive development impact of mobility, the EU should stop replenishing the Fund.”


Notes to the editors:

Media contact: Gian Marco Grindatto (+32 498 116879)

About the report:

  • The report “Misplaced Trust: diverting EU aid to stop migration. The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa” is the outcome of interviews with more than 40 stakeholders, conducted by Global Health Advocates in spring 2017 in Brussels, Niger and Senegal – both considered as priority countries under the New Partnership Framework on Migration. It looks into the implementation of the Trust Fund on the ground and the potential implications of this instrument on development practices and aid effectiveness principles.
  • List of partners interviewed can be found in the Annex of the report and includes: EU institutions, NGOs, civil society organisations, UN agencies, local authorities in Senegal and Niger, development agencies of EU countries.

Key messages from the report:

  • The EU Trust Fund is based on an inherent contradiction: presented by the European Commission both as a development and emergency instrument, it aims to deliver results in the short-term, mostly drawing on development funds, which are legally bound to support long-term poverty eradication programmes.
  • Although the largest part of resources allocated to the Trust Fund consist of Official Development Assistance (ODA), the Fund does not fully respect aid effectiveness principles: programmes implemented are not always aligned with national development priorities of partner countries. This is putting into question the effectiveness and positive impact of programmes.
  • The Trust Fund is negatively impacting the quality of the EU-Africa partnership. EU leaders are using a carrot and stick approach with African partners, using development aid to trigger their cooperation on migration management. The EU-Africa partnership should be a partnership of equals: this report has shown this is not the case with the Trust Fund.


About Global Health Advocate: Global Health Advocates is a global health advocacy organisation dedicated to fighting against diseases stemming from poverty and inequality. GHA’s mission is to advocate for policy-change at the highest political level and to mobilize resources to tackle major health threats, build sustainable health systems and enhance health equity. It has offices in Paris and Brussels where it carries out health advocacy towards the French government and the European Union.


MEP Elly Schlein, member of the Development Committee in the European Parliament, reacted to the report: “The current approach of shifting development aid resources to stop irregular migration flows to Europe, with little to no oversight from the European Parliament, is very worrying. Aid will increasingly go to countries and regions that produce and experience migration towards Europe at the expense of everyone else. According to the treaties development money should be aimed at eradicating poverty. Building walls in Africa do not reduce poverty and inequalities, it increases them.”